Sunday 17 December 2017

'Intoxicated' electrician served 'an extra 10 to 15 shots' before assault at lap dancing club loses appeal

Daniel Rains (31) was sentenced to two-and-a-half years imprisonment
Daniel Rains (31) was sentenced to two-and-a-half years imprisonment

Ruaidhrí Giblin

A drunk customer who was served “an extra 10 to 15 shots” before going on an assault "rampage” at a Dublin lap dancing club has lost an appeal against the severity of his sentence.

Daniel Rains (31), of Crossley Road, Blackley, Manchester, had pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assaulting a 21-year-old Mauritian national causing him harm at Club Lapello, Dame Street, Dublin on January 26 2014.

Rains had also pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to another customer and common assault to two security men on the same occasion.

He was sentenced to two-and-a-half years imprisonment by Judge Martin Nolan on February 20 2015.

Dismissing his appeal against sentence today, Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan said the injured party had been leaving Club Lappelo on the night in question when Rains approached him and hit him for no reason.

On falling back, Rains punched him a few more times to the face and kicked him while he lay on the ground.

Mr Justice Sheehan said the injured party's cheekbone was fractured, which required the insertion of permanent plates, and he was left with a scar on his cheek.

During garda interviews Rains apologised stating that he was highly intoxicated and had no recollection of the event.

He told gardaí that he had gotten the boat over from Manchester that day and intended on staying in Dublin for a short time.

Rains, a married man with two young children, had a good work record and was a qualified electrician, Mr Justice Sheehan said. He had a number of previous convictions in the UK for offences including an assault causing actual bodily harm.

Mr Justice Sheehan said there was little more Rains could have done to demonstrate his contrition. He admitted his offending behaviour, pleaded guilty and brought a significant sum of money to court.

The sentencing judge said compensation had no place in this case.

The Court of Appeal held that the sentencing judge was correct in locating the offence on the higher end of the scale, correct in not suspending part of the sentence and that he took account of all mitigating factors.

Equally, Mr Justice Sheehan said, given that the victim rejected the offer of compensation, the trial judge was correct in leaving that question to another venue.

Mr Justice Sheehan, who sat with Mr Justice John Edwards and Mr Justice Alan Mahon, said the sentence was not excessive and accordingly dismissed the appeal.

During counsel's submissions, barrister Michael Bowman SC, for Rains, said there was a degree of responsibility on the nightclub itself to step in and say 'this man has had enough'.

They took the decision, he said, they were going to benefit more by continuing to serve him than doing the responsible thing of protecting himself from himself.

There was no doubt there was a breach of responsibility, Mr Bowman said.

After a point had been reached, where Rains was incapable of making any reasoned decision, somebody should have stepped in and assumed a duty of care to all patrons in the establishment, Mr Bowman said.

Mr Bowman said it was a moment of madness by somebody who, by and large, had made a positive contribution to society and his family.

Counsel for the Director of Public Prosecutions, Geraldine Small Bl, said Rains was a mature man who had voluntarily consumed alcohol and his blame could not be absolved by the fact somebody else served him drink at his behest.

Ms Small said the assault was totally unprovoked and involved significant gratuitous violence.

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